A Guide For Expatriates And Students Living And Studying In Budapest, Hungary.

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As recent years show a significant increase in students looking to obtain higher education in Hungary, focusing mainly in the major cities of Budapest, Szeged, Debrecen and Pecs, as well as many foreign nationals reside within Budapest as part of the employment training and management requirements, this detailed guide will help all new comers to get around the city of Budapest easily, pointing out the key features to help you with the day-to-day orientation as well as to enjoy the vivid night life in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

About Budapest:

Considered by many as one of the most beautiful classical capitals in Europe, Budapest is situated on the banks of the Danube River. The city consists of three parts: The older section of Buda abundant with Celtic and Roman ruins, The hill side Buda situated on the western bank of the Danube River, famous for its historic Castle Hill and pastoralist residential area, and the vivid Pest, on its busy districts located on the plains of the east bank. Since its union in 1873, Budapest is well renowned as the location of one of the most beautiful World Heritage cities.

Filled with cinemas, cafes, festivals, sports events, theatres, pubs, clubs and restaurants. The atmosphere is just perfect for international students living in the city, as there are numerous faculties, and universities in which students from all around the world come to study and experience the vivid life style of the city.

There are 25 universities in Hungary, of which 10 are in Budapest, as the most famous ones of Budapest 's universities are Semmelweis Medical University, szent istvan veterinary university, the Technical University or the Franz Liszt University of Musical Studies. Budapest's abundant academic life housed many students from various countries on their foreign-language courses.

Site seeing in Budapest.

Margit Sziget

(Margaret Island) on the Danube is a great place to lay back and relax, or exercise sports in its huge park. Jogging around the island on the specifically built jogging track is very popular amongst the students.

Museum of Fine Arts

Located at Heroes square, this huge museum possess a unique collection of European paintings and offers a variety of world known exhibitions from around the world. Students can enjoy discounted prices at the ticket office.

Liszt Ferenc Square

One of the most famous (and nicest) areas for passing a nice afternoon and sit for a relaxing dinner. Filled with restaurants and coffee shops, these locations are frequented by local and foreign students, as they chill after a busy day of work and studies.

The Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament building is the seat of the national assembly of Hungary. It is largest building in Hungary and one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings. With its breath taking neo gothic architecture it is also one of the most popular tourist destination of Budapest.

St. Stephen Bazilika

The largest Catholic Church in Budapest, and the second largest church in Hungary, it houses Hungary's most sacred treasure, St Stephen's mummified right hand. The basilica's architecture and interior decorations are a must see. Between 1st of April till 31st of October, visitors can climb to its tour and admire the panoramic of both the plain and hills of Budapest.

Heroes square

Located at the end of Andrassy Ut, Heroes' square is one of the major squares of Budapest. It is rich with historic and political connotations, and commemorates the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of the Magyar tribes to the Carpathian basin.

The Castle District

Filled with narrow alleys and old citizen houses, while the ancient Castle standing overlooking from above, this district of Budapest reflects a unique authentic medieval atmosphere.

The Opera House

Located on central pest, and considered a unique piece of architecture. The state's opera is a definite must see location in the city! Those were just a few of the many tourists attractions spread all around Budapest. It is always recommend to travel by foot through the historical quarters and enjoy the amazing architecture and ambiance of this historic city.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi access can be found on most of the centrally located coffee shops and restaurants. As well as in the shopping malls. It is also possible to purchase a USB wi-fi transmitter through one of the cellular network providers (such as t-mobile, or Verizon) and stay connected using the card while no free Wi-Fi is available.

Transportation

Students should be cautious with taxis taken from the street; it's strongly recommended to call a taxi over the phone from a well established taxi company as the fare is fixed and set in advance. It is not advisable to take a taxi on the street.

Budapest has an excellent public transport network, buses, underground and trams run frequently, especially in the rush hours, while the night buses allow transportation during night. passengers are controlled frequently, so it is recommended to buy a daily ticket or monthly, weekly or a 3-day passes (discounted prices are available for students with presenting student cards).

Biking is getting more and more popular in the city, and bikes can be rented for daily/hourly usages at various vendors around the city center. A few reliable, well known taxi companies are:

Taxi plus (0618888000)
Taxi 2000 (0612000000)
Taxi 6x6 (061466666)
Zona taxi (offers a fixed cheap rate from Budapest to the airport: 0613655555)
When ordering a taxi, you will have to provide the dispatcher with your name, as when the taxi arrives, it will ask you to identify by that name

Average living costs in Budapest

You should consider the below sum of money to cover your average expenses during the Academic Year. The costs are estimates only, and are intended to help students plan their financial budget. These are based on average costs of the various utilities expenses.

Actual expenditures may vary based on individual consumption. From checkups with different management companies, and tenants living in Budapest in the past and in the present, the average recommended expenditure cost is about 200,000 HUF per month. This is to cover costs of utilities, meals, city transportation, instructional materials, some personal expenses and minor incidentals.

Media & News:

Many foreign newspapers can be found in most of the newsstands, the weekly English ones are the Economist and the International Herald Tribune, Budapest Sun, Budapest Business Journal and Budapest Week. It is also recommended to pick up a copy of the PestiEst, which contains cultural programs and information such as English speaking movies for example.

Other than newspapers, the English international TV channels broadcasts are CNN, BBC World and Sky News. On the radio, BBC-RFI on FM 99.1 is broadcasted in English, French and German.

Visa and residency permits

As part of the European Union (starting from 2004), citizens of the EU and EEA member states do not require a visa to enter Hungary. The following list contains the country which their nationals just require their passport and id card to enter Hungary: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Apart from the citizens of these countries, the citizens of the following countries are allowed to enter Hungary without a Vise under the restriction of their stay does not exceed 90 days and that the purpose of their visit is not employment or other income-earning activity.

Those countries are: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Costa Rica, USA, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region passport), Croatia, Israel, Japan, Korean Republic, Macao (Special Administrative Region passport), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador, San Marino, Switzerland, Singapore, New Zealand, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Schengen Agreement

Being a signatory of the Schengen Agreement. a visa for Hungary entitles you to travel within the whole Schengen area.

Non EU/EEA citizens

Citizens of the Non-EU/EEA countries (required to get a visa) can apply for various types of visas depending of the purpose of their stay. long-term visa. The application process for a long-term visa usually takes between 30 and 60 days; while an application for a short-term visa will normally be processed in 5 to 15 days. In case of a long-term visa first you will receive a Visa which you can travel into Hungary with.

This Visa is valid for 30 days from the date you entered the Schengen Area. During this period you will need to go to the Hungarian Immigration Office in person to receive the final Schengen Residence Permit and to arrange the Address Registration too.

Medical services for foreign nationals:

The following are private clinics providing services for foreign nationals. The staff is fluent in English, and most treatments are covered under the terms of the insurance policy a visitor to Hungary may purchased at his own country:

FirstMed: 061-2249090 (24 hours call reception. Buda side)
Expat medical Budapest: 0612404324 (Buda side)
International Medical Services (IMS): 061-3298423 (Pest side).
Accommodation:

Apartments in Budapest:

Finding the right flat in Budapest can be a difficult task, there are many factors to be considered (proximity to public transportation, utility costs, suitability of the area and district, etc.).www.RoomMatesBudapest.com is a recommended site for finding apartments in Budapest and meeting new roommates and flatmates. It also includes a 2nd hand Buy & sell section with classifieds for students.

Night life:

Night life in Budapest is famous worldwide. From the Szimpla kert with its unique atmosphere, throughout the friendly morrisson's dance bar to the huge high end clubs like the white angel and Studio club, Budapest's night life are a constant rush! just make sure you dont miss out on the special international students events, as these are famous for being the best parties in the city!

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